Dangerous First Aid Myths
It’s time to dispel some of the most popular myths that surround first aid. We’re debunking those misconceptions once and for all to prevent everyone from handling injuries the wrong way.
Here are some of the common myths about first aid:
Myth #1: Sucking a Snake Bite
Don’t try to suck the venom out. The venom from the snake bite is shot into the bloodstream towards the heart and moves around the body. There is no possible way you could suck out all the venom.
Instead, keep the bite below the level of the heart and try to stay calm as you contact the emergency medical services.
Myth #2: Hyperventilating into a Paper Bag
It’s a traditional practice to treat hyperventilation by breathing into a brown paper bag. The idea behind this is that it helps the body restore its proper oxygen levels. But studies have shown that hyperventilating into a paper bag will only make things worse.
It’s better to try breathing through pursed-lip, and if the hyperventilating doesn’t stop – call a doctor.
Myth #3: Leaning Back with a Nosebleed
Perhaps you’ve seen it on television or in movies but tilting your head back to stop a nosebleed is a bad idea. Be warned that will all the blood will go down your throat. It could lead to choking and stomach irritation.
Don’t try to protect your favourite white shirt by leaning back. Instead, lean forward and pinch your nose just below the bony bridge. Do this for at least 15 minutes until the bleeding stops.
Myth #4: Peeing on a Jellyfish Sting
Please don’t pee on a jellyfish sting. Contrary to what you’ve read on the internet, peeing on a jellyfish sting can do more harm than good. The use of urine will only make the jellyfish stinger release more venom, thus, more pain for the patient.
To treat a jellyfish sting, rinse the affected area with seawater (not fresh water), and use vinegar or baking soda to minimize the pain. Apply an ice pack or calamine lotion for further treatment.
Myth #5: Put Ice/Butter on a Burn
Don’t put ice or butter directly on a burned area unless you want to make the burn worse. The ice can only result in further damage, and the butter insulates the burning process and drives the burn into the flesh.
The best thing to do is run the burned area under cool water and seek medical attention if it’s a second or third-degree burn.
Myth #6: Apply Heat to a Sprain
The application of heat boosts blood flow to the sprained area, making the swelling worse.
When treating an injury, always apply cold initially. Ice decreases blood flow, so expect less swelling and inflammation. If the swelling doesn’t go down, please visit your doctor.
Myth #7: Put Something in a Seizing Person’s Mouth
If you see someone falls to the ground and begins to seize, the last thing you should do is to restrain the person or put anything into the person’s mouth.
Instead, roll the person onto their side to keep an open airway. Remove any hazards and if possible, put a pillow underneath the head.
Myth #8: Lie Down When Having a Heart Attack
The best position for a heart attack victim is not lying down. Lying down only fills the heart with more blood, straining it, making it more difficult for the victim to breathe.
A half-seated position with bent knees and a supported back is the best recovery position for the victim while waiting for the medical services to arrive.